Objective: To describe the use of rasburicase in adult patients with hematological neoplasias and to present a protocol for its administration jointly prepared by the hematology and the pharmacy departments based on the scientific evidence available.
Method: Retrospective study that reviews treatments with rasburicase administered in a tertiary 800-bed hospital from July 2002 to May 2004 to adult patients with hematological neoplasias. The following data were collected: demographic and clinical data, daily dose of rasburicase and length of treatment, plasma levels of creatinine, potassium, phosphate, calcium, LDH, uric acid and white blood cell count daily and until 48 hours after administering the last dose of rasburicase.
Results: Rasburicase was administered to a total of 18 adult patients (mean age of 57 years; range 27-84; 11 men and 7 women). Prior to treatment, 16 patient had high levels of LDH, 12 patients had a blood count over 50,000 white blood cells/mm3, and 11 had serum levels of uric acid above 7 mg/dl. The dose of rasburicase administered was 0.2 mg/kg/day and the median length of treatment was 5 days (range 1-10). The levels of uric acid returned to normal values in all patients. Furthermore, an statistically significant decrease of creatinine levels was observed. The other biochemical parameters studied were duly controlled throughout the treatment.
Conclusions: A high variability is observed in the use of rasburicase in our patients. The hematology and pharmacy services have been working jointly to prepare a consensus-based protocol according to which, depending on the patient s risk of developing TLS (tumoral lysis syndrome), standard prophylaxis is administered to low-risk patients (intravenous hydration, alopurinol and urine alcalinization) and rasburicase is administered initially for 1-3 days to patients with high risk of developing TLS.